After a long drive to Anglesey we arrived around 3pm with more than enough time to get set up so we had a look at a few mates who were testing that day on track then set up everything afterwards.
Friday night we managed to squeeze in a track walk before it got too dark, had the usual track walk talk about what some people doing through each corner, braking points etc…
Saturday morning was pretty relaxed, Dad and I weren’t testing until the afternoon. It was a wet start to the day but it dried up in no time.
Testing went pretty good, I got as many laps in as I could within the time I had. The bike I was riding had just been built from ground up so a lot of things needed bedding in and put right because I had only ridden the bike once before this meet so not everything was set correctly yet as I noticed after each session we had to tighten up the head stock. Another issue we were having was at the bottom of corkscrew the left hander along with one or two more left hand corners I was grinding out my pegs and exhaust so we had to sort that out for qualifying the next morning.
Sunday morning I was confident with the bike and I knew that all the small things that were bothering me and stopping me from improving my time on track had been sorted. I went out for qualifying, I got about 4 laps banked in with good times however on the 5th lap I was pushing for another flying lap until I felt movement in the front end again so I pulled in early… The traffic on track was starting to get in the way of a good time anyway so I didn’t see a need in staying out longer trying to push when I know something’s not right.
When I came in from qualifying I let my dad know about the problem straight away and it was the headstock again, nothing to worry about though because the headstock bearings were still bedding in. We tightened it up once more so it was fine to go out for race 1 of the weekend.
I went to race admin to pick up the times and I was happy with my time, I managed to get myself on the front row on Position 2 just behind Joe Barton on Pole.
Even though I’m just back from injury my eyes were set on getting back out there and getting back on podium to rake in as many points as I can to finish in the top 3 in the championship by the end of the season.
Race 1 went really well and as always I was smiling and enjoying it!
The first lap was a dash off the line I entered the first corner in 2nd just behind Joe, I managed to get past and lead the whole race until last lap where the big passing moves were starting to happen, Joe dived underneath me on a tight 2nd gear left hander but overshot it so I went by, saw his wheel again but nothing of it for two corners until at the bottom of the corkscrew on the right hander he went underneath me again but kept it this time, I went for the last corner punch up the inside, stuck it mid corner but I got on the power too hard and too early, the back end of my bike came around on me so my bars were full lock right, the only way I thought I could keep it and not fall off was to lift of the seat and just use my feet and legs on the pegs when it bites back so it doesn’t throw me off, when it caught grip again it kicked me hard but I’m glad I wasn’t on the seat because I would have been off. Luckily I kept it, took a quick look back after getting back on the power to check if anyone was behind me, but thankfully me and Joe had a 6 second gap so there weren’t any other threats of losing 2nd. Wicked first race back after injury though I’m really pleased with it.
Race 2 came up pretty quickly.
Race 2 was pretty similar to the first, went in for first corner I got the holeshot this time but it wasn’t too long before Joe came past me but I thought rather than fighting I’d take my time, stay behind him and try to gap the others behind us and then go for it in the last two laps. I tried punching up the inside of various corners in the last two laps and different lines for better drives out to get past, I managed to a couple times but nothing solid so I didn’t stay ahead. We were both losing grip on some parts of the track as we were pushing. I saw the odd slide here and there from Joe but same from me so nothing was really gained. The last few corners were really close however I couldn’t get past Joe, I finished in 2nd however we had a nice 7 second gap behind us.
That night we all had another track walk along with a load of food on a nice BBQ afterwards.
Monday morning I woke up feeling good, we had practice in the morning but before we went out there was an oil spill so in practice all I used it for was just to look for that and make sure it was ok really… It was on the racing line but the marshals and track team did a good job of clearing it up.
Race 3 of the weekend was coming up fast and mega laps from the day before put me back on P2 on the grid.
First corner dash was close we were all pretty bunched up, the whole race was really close with Will, Peter and Ben but Joe had gapped us because we were tripping over each other behind him while he was putting good laps in. During the race there were some very close moments for all of us in that little pack, Ben lost it on the last corner half way through the race which put him back. Will fell off first corner while he was in front of Peter and me? Well… finally it came to the last lap and even though as close friends me and Peter are, we were fighting for 2nd… I was behind trying to find a way around, I managed to get a really good drive onto the back straight along with slipstream from Peter and I went to pass on the left side of him just before heading up the hill. At this point I thought I was pretty close to his bike, I tried to give myself more room but I ran out of time and room quickly as we were both lining up to enter into braking, I got way to close to him and my front brake hit his exhaust at about 110mph which automatically threw me into the Tarmac, sliding for a while which was starting to get pretty hot and rolling to a stop. I stood up, gave myself a quick check over to realise I was absolutely fine other than a bang to my right middle finger. That was my race over.
I pushed my bike back to parc ferme with a Marshal. As I pushed it through everyone I went past asked if I was ok which was really nice. I went straight to technical inspection so they could have a look at my leathers, helmet and bike.
The bike was obviously not ok, however I was… I’d like to give huge thank you to OXFORD PRODUCTS for the leathers they kept me safe and they’re still fine to race in so they held up really well, no marks on me what so ever. It really doesn’t feel as if I just fell off at 110mph, also HJC HELMETS, best helmets ever! Kept me safe and definitely did its job by making sure it protected me, I feel fine with all the gear I had on, really amazing kit!
low res crash video
As soon as I got back to our set up we had to swap a few things from the bike I was just riding to my wet bike so I could ride that instead as the one I was just riding is completely totalled. It took us until 4minutes before our last race of the weekend to get it done but the key thing is that it was done and I was able to get back out, a massive thank you to my dad, Peter Bardell, Chris Ashfield, Mick Marshall, Sam Smith, John O’toole and everyone else that helped I wouldn’t have been able to get back out and ride without all your help, thank you so much!
The last race came up and all that was in my mind was getting off to a good start, enjoying it and getting some good points to come away with.
Out of the first corner I was second, into the next few I dropped back as I was trying to get used to the feel of the bike, it was completely different to the one I had been riding. However I made places up but lost them again… Me, Ben and Joe managed to gap everyone and have our own battles which were epic! Some close moments for all of us I think and some where we didn’t think we’d stay on. All three of us lead at some point, over taking each other pretty much all the time. The last two laps I lead, I was losing so much grip how ever I knew all three of us had the same problem, into the corkscrew I was leading, last corner Ben robbed me of first and went underneath me on a very sketchy line, I tried to have it back but I didn’t have the drive.
Ben won the last race, I came 2nd and Joe finished 3rd. Loved that race it was awesome battling!
The weekend was wicked and I’m glad to be back at it after Injury! I came away with three 2nd positions and a 110mph crash under my belt ha, big thanks again for OXFORD PRODUCTS & HJC HELMETS for protecting me.
As usual there are loads of people to thank but I’d like to say a big thankyou to Thundersport GB, Bernadette for being amazing as always, the marshals, medics & officials for being there and taking care of everyone!
Also to people behind me this year; my mum, sis and girlfriend for all being so supportive. My dad who’s got everything sorted with the bikes and making all of this happen for me also owner of Tynan.co Ltd & Tynan.co/racing. Thanks to Martins Motorcycle Services in Reading for the work on the engines, RideInBikeTyres for helping us with tyres, MTC MOTORCYCLES for their help with parts! OXFORD PRODUCTS for the leathers and gloves! Also Putoline for supporting me through this year.
Also I’d really like to congratulate Joe Barton on being the Nationwide Traffic Solutions Thundersport 500 CHAMPION! Well done mate you deserve it, enjoy the celebrations!
Bring on DONINGTON PARK!